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Monday, March 14, 2011

Samrong Village School

Being in the middle of the Angkor temples was the experience of a lifetime. To follow this amazing experience I have been presented with another opportunity to meet an amazing family. Laim, the kid I spent a week with in Phnom Penh invited me to visit his family and the school he helped build in Samrong village, about 40km from Siem Reap where Angkor Wat is.
Yesterday Laim's cousin Sa picked me up on her motor bike and whisked me away to the village. It was an hour long motoride down the main road. As we turned off the main road it turned to dirt, we rode another
15km on dirt roads to the single track trail to the village. We pulled up to Laims house which is a simple home on a small piece of land. No electricity, no running water. His mother, brothers and sisters greeted us with big smiles. I sat and talked with them for a while. Then she brought me across the road to see the school. It was also a very simple structure with a thatched roof and a divider made of palm fronds in the middle separating the two classrooms,
sand floors and simple desks. On a side note, I have noticed with each classroom I have gone in that all of the furniture is in good condition, in western schools there's carvings and writing and gum stuck all over everything. These kids really want this stuff to
last and do not take anything for granted. I spent that afternoon playing volleyball with the kids, at one point the game got very serious and there was money put on the game. I
was on one team with 3 other kids and they don't mess around with their volleyball. They are hardcore and spike that thing hard, I was very impressed.

Sa the girl who brought me to the village is also a teacher at the school so after volleyball she brought me to the classrooms where over a hundred kids had congregated. I was to teach my first English class ever. I had no idea what I was doing but the kids seemed to enjoy my teaching.

Sa is a very good teacher and seems so comfortable in the classroom. Sa and one other teacher volunteer their time at this school 5 days a week and sometimes more. It was very inspiring to see all the time and effort she put into teaching these children.

I have agreed to sponsor this school and pay the salary of a teacher for 2 years, and depending on my financial situation or if I can find a way to raise money I will continue to sponsor this school for years to come. It's really is amazing when you can spend time
with amazing people and know that you can help out in some small way.

After class we headed back to Laims parents house and had dinner. We had rice, dried fish, cucumber, and fruit for dessert. They were such nice and sweet people, I am glad to have met them. They taught me some new words in Khmer then I got my stuff and Laims father drove me back to Siem Reap on the motor bike.

I am heading into a week long meditation
and will not have internet or any communication, I am looking forward to taking this time and being in the present. I will see you all on the other side!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    My name is Kyle and I am in the middle of setting up a nonprofit that aims to provide university scholarships, english classes, and salaries for teachers in Cambodia. Both my dad and I have been in touch with Laim as well. I would love to talk with you further if you have the time.